Note: This is quite a long post. Feel free to scroll down to the highlighted part where my actual question is. If you find out that you want more information on these types of flags, you can read the first part where I did my best to collect the relevant information.
Occasionally it happens that I stumble upon posts where the contents is something like "asdfj ewerepqjf sl qwerqwerqwef 14jljk". They might be caused by cat on a keyboard or somebody might post them by mistake, not even realizing that they inadvertently made a post. Or the reasons might be less innocuous. For example, somebody might bump their post using another account created just for this purpose. Or this might be expression of a frustrated user reacting in somewhat disruptive manner.
When seeing such posts, so far I followed the FAQ from the main meta saying that such posts should be flagged as rude or abusive. Here is the quote of relevant paragraph: "It contains only gibberish, such as “fsdguejgkfdlk”. Use the rude or abusive flag for these cases, or flag for moderator attention with a custom explanation if it requires more detail."1
If enough people flag the post as rude/abusive, the post is deleted and the content is hidden. (It is only visible after you click on revisions.) I have noticed, that often gibberish post on this site are deleted, but the content not hidden. As far as I know, this means that they did not get enough rude/abusive flags. A few examples are posted below.2 (I have posted them just to show that this really sometimes happens. You can ignore them and take my word for it. I do not know about any efficient way how to find such cases, but I do not think that providing more examples is needed here.)
I am aware that if a post gets enough spam or offensive flags, that has some repercussions for the poster. Again from FAQ: "6 flags (spam or rude or abusive): post is locked, deleted, and the author loses 100 reputation." And there might be some other penalization which I am unaware of. I guess enough of them might lead to notifying moderators who might decide to suspend or delete account.3
So I can kind of understand the sentiment who could say: "Perhaps it is better to do something which do not influence the user so much for some minor offence. I'll just use NAA flag, or downvote, or vote to delete the post." I often have doubts about this as well, but since this seems to be the official policy of SE network, I have used rude/abusive flags in such situations.
After this long introduction, I can finally say what my questions are:
- Did I understand correctly that if I see a deleted post where contents is not hidden, it was not deleted based on offensive flags? (I.e., did I correctly interpret the examples I posted below?)
- What is your opinion on this issue. Should gibberish posts be flagged as rude/abusive or should they just be deleted? (I know what the official SE policy is. But people using this site might have opinion differing from official policy. If there are some reasonable arguments against flagging these post in this way, I will be glad to hear them.)
1 The reasoning why such posts are considered abusive is given in the same FAQ entry as follows: "Abuse of the system or community is everything that is created with the intention to harm them. This includes posts that contain no useful content at all – i.e. gibberish posts along the lines of: asyuv;laergap897wertp[98 gb;vp98a34. Cats are not allowed to walk across keyboards as part of Stack Exchange posts; this is abuse and should be flagged as such. (Source)"
2 For users with privilege to see deleted questions:
3If somebody can confirm with some official source whether enough offensive flags can lead to account suspension or deletion, let me know in the comments and I will add the information into the post.